I know that I am a good looking person. It is fact that I have nice eyes and nice teeth and my nose isn’t too obtrusive in the grand scheme of my face. I know that my body is just fine. It is fact that my freckles and stretch marks and scars do nothing more than define me and that my curves make me who I am. I know that I am physically attractive, though not conventionally. It is fact that I am, in truth, not overweight, ugly, or disgusting.
But everyone battles with insecurity sometimes. There will always be a time in your life when all you want to do is change who you are so people don’t see the things that make you uncomfortable. And this is especially true in a society that will tell me that the previous paragraph was a lie and that I am not attractive. This is so ridiculous.
I recently gained some weight. Not too much, but with my lack of exercise, enough to cause two rather unsightly stretch marks appear on my previously unblemished stomach. Yes, I do blame myself. I eat whatever I want whenever I want because I am a teenager and impulsive along with somehow always hungry.
This could end up being detrimental at some point if I do not start working out again. I realize that I am out of shape due to sports injuries and the like. But we’re not talking about that, we’re talking about insecurity
I think the main problem is that, shortly after these marks appeared, I started doubting my attractiveness as a person, disregarding the fact that, regardless of what my body looks like, I am kind of ridiculously awesome. I am intelligent, creative, adventurous, and many other things.
But, see? Even my strong-willed self allowed mainstream media to dictate to me what should be attractive. I began dressing in even baggier clothing (and no one thought that was possible) to a point where I looked like less of a comfort-freak and more of a slob. I began wearing make-up again, which took away the power of my motion to be beautiful without conformity. And again, I began worrying more about what people thought when they looked at me rather than what they thought when they listened to me.
In summation, I devolved back into the person I was last year, who was insecure, depressed, and uncomfortable in her own skin. In just two silly little blemishes on my skin, I allowed myself to believe that I was no longer good enough as myself, which set back over six months of work I had done to prove the contrary.
And the problem was that I didn’t even realize I had let this happen until one morning when I asked my mom to wake me up an hour and a half before a meeting at my school so that I could look presentable to the mini-masses. I showered, shaved my legs and armpits almost compulsively, dressed nicely, made sure my hair was perfect, and then spent twenty minutes on makeup that would only be seen for half an hour before I returned home and went back to bed.
This is a problem. I am not saying that taking a long time on your appearance is a bad thing or that wearing make-up and looking nice is detrimental to anybody. I am saying that it was detrimental to me, not because I did those things, but because I felt like I had to do those things in order to be good enough for society.
And despite the effort I put into my looks that day, I still squirmed with discomfort when people looked at me because I felt ugly and disgusting.
And then I spent 9 days in the cities, and was reminded by all of the wonderful people that I know there that I am beautiful and that my body is a glorious thing, regardless of not fitting into social norms. I wore makeup that week only because it was fun, and I dressed how I wanted to because it was my choice of how I wanted to portray myself to the world. I took a step back and just looked at myself. I realized that I do have a problem and that problem is allowing insecurity to define myself and my experiences.
I am a good person who wants to experience her life as a good thing. I cannot do that if I am constantly worrying about how the world looks at me. I have to cast that off so that I can begin worrying about how I look at the world. I have to accept who I am so that I can not only accept but cherish everyone and everything else.
We cannot find peace or make it with others if we cannot make it with ourselves. This isn’t my sudden change. This will take work again. This is just a realization, and I do know there are things that I could change, starting with working out again. But this is still me, and I am still beautiful.
So this is me, in body. Regardless of your opinion of this body I have, I can only hope that you stick around for the soul part of me, because that’s where it really gets interesting.